Meridian teens develop skills outside the classroom

Mountain View High School senior Seth Askew has his sights set on being a pharmacist. He is motivated by the motto “cure the uncurable.” He is using resources at school to achieve his goal.

Seth, 17, is working on a pharmacy technician certificate and will get the experience of working in a local pharmacy.

“The more experience I get now, the better,” he said. “I want to know exactly what career I want to do going into college.”

Seth is enrolled in the West Ada School District’s health science pathway pharmacy technician program, where he is learning pharmaceutical terminology, drug identification, measurement techniques, record-keeping and prescription preparation.

He will take his new skills into the classroom and apply them at an externship in the spring. Seth, along with 54 other seniors, interviewed with five pharmacy representatives from Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Walgreens, St. Luke’s, St. Alphonsus and Heartland during a career fair this month.

“Students are preparing for their medical career,” said Zack Moore, a supervisor of pharmacy technicians at St. Luke’s. “Being inside a pharmacy helps students firm up to believe that this is the right fit.”

Seth Askew interviews with a local pharmacy during a career fair on Dec. 6.

Students will receive hands-on work experience learning the day-to-day activities that take place at a pharmacy. Seth is hoping to land an externship in a hospital pharmacy because that is where he wants to work someday.

“My goal is to have someone come up to me, shake my hand and say thank you,” Seth said. “I love helping people.”

Students shadow pharmacy technicians, pull medication off the shelf and fill prescriptions four hours a week in the field. Students spend two hours a week in the classroom. The externship is not required while in the pathways program, but students usually participate.

“The externship benefits the students immensely,” said Ariel Wood, the West Ada pharmacy technician instructor.

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